Watch Read Listen: May

May the force of good watching, reading, listening be with you this month.


Bluey (Disney+)
I’m a little late to the Bluey party, but my kids only recently jumped on the bandwagon. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m watching it without the kids, but I’ve been referring to lessons learned in the show as examples enough that my 7-year-old has started mumbling “I kinda hate Bluey”. He loves it. I love it. It’s brilliant. (Dana)

Hope On the Street (Amazon Prime)
Docuseries following j-hope as he travels to meet street dancers and learn from them. I think this will mostly appeal to fans of j-hope and BTS (like me), but maybe you will enjoy it if you like street dance! (Casey)

Secrets of Sulphur Springs (Apple TV+)
Time travel, ghosts, a decades old connection between two families rediscovered, all in a mysterious hotel! Some very sweet friend and family moments between the mysteries. It’s full of cliffhangers, but I love it anyway! (Hazel)

Secrets of the Elephants (National Geographic)
Never thought I’d binge watch a series on elephants, but I simply could not stop. Natalie Portman does a beautiful job narrating this four-part program which explores the worlds of savanna, desert, rainforest, and Asian elephants. Especially appreciated that the subject matter experts were locals. (Janet)
Check out our Hulu Roku to watch.

Shirley (Netflix)
So good! It tells the story of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress, as she becomes the first Black candidate to seek a presidential nomination. (Seana)

Talk to Me
A pretty good horror movie where a group of friends conjure spirits using an embalmed hand. Things don’t go well for them! (Todd)


Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
Words make genuine magic in this fantastical depiction of 19th century Oxford University, where translators hold the key’s to the English Empire’s successes and failures. It’s a long one, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable. (Liz)

The Bad Ones by Melissa Albert
A gothic horror mystery. What more could I ask for? Four people disappear in one day in a small town. Turns out people have disappeared before. Could they be connected? This was an atmospheric mystery that kept me guessing. (Ash)

Don’t Look at Me Like That by Diana Athill 
One of the best books I’ve read in years. (Janet)

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
I loved it! (Seana)

Sheine Lende by Darcie Little Badger
After reading and loving Elatsoe, I was so excited to hear about this prequel! Another interesting mystery that’s also all about friends and family connections. And, of course, ghosts! (Hazel)

Storm Peak by John A. Flanagan
Fun who-dun-it in a cool setting I’ve visited several times – Steamboat Mountain Resort in Colorado. (Deb)

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Each short chapter of this book is an ode to a species of flora, fauna, or to another natural phenomenon (Monsoon was one chapter), tied in with autobiographical vignettes. It’s delightful. (Dana)


Do Your Doo Diligence (Outside/In podcast)
Love the Outside/In podcast about the natural world but this episode was especially good. Some may not appreciate hearing how letting dogs go off-leash in the woods and on the beach is detrimental to local habitats but if it changes a few minds, it’s worth it. I love dogs, btw! (Janet)

The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar, narrated by Xe Sands
Wow. So good. I think this book made me cry, for a different reason each time, every day it took to complete it. (Deb)

Hope on the Street Vol. 1
Now that you’ve *Watched*, you can *Listen* to the album that accompanies the Hope on the Street docuseries. (Casey)

The Humans by Matt Haig, narrated by Mark Meadows
When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of a Professor, he navigates his way through the Professor’s life and his perspective is…enchanting, hilarious and insightful. (Deb)

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, narrated by Cherry Jones
A coworker recently told me that Cherry Jones narrates the Little House books, and because I love listening to her, I had to give it a listen. (Ash)

The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nick Day, narrated by Carlotta Brentan
This nonfiction book is intended for upper elementary school children, but even adults will enjoy this exciting account of Leonardo da Vinci, the Mona Lisa heist, and the early days of forensic science.  (Seana) 

Watch Read Listen: April

There’s no fooling with these picks.


Love Lies Bleeding (currently in theaters)
I can’t stop thinking about this movie. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoyed the dark humor of Killing Eve, I think you’ll like this too. I’m obsessed. (Ash)

Star Trek Discovery (Paramount+)
The new season comes out later this month, so it’s time for a rewatch. I fell in love with the characters from their first appearance, and the story is addicting and fun! Lots of family and friend bonding. (Hazel)

The Super Models (Apple TV+)
I am possibly the only person I know who hasn’t seen Ted Lasso, but after finally signing up for an Apple TV+ trial, this is the first show I watched. I was fairly obsessed with these women in the 90s (still am), and maintain Freedom! ’90 (George Michael) is hands down the best video ever made. (Amber)


Disability Visibility: 17 First-Person Stories for Today by Alice Wong
There are so many short and sweet stories in this one collection that highlight the perspectives of many different people in the disability community. Interesting and informative! (Hazel)

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t want it to end. (Seana)

First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
Fun read, not scary, but creative plot. Reminded me of the show Imposters on Bravo. (Kelly)

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
Twists and turns throughout in true Jodi Picoult fashion. (Seana)

One Last Breath by Ginny Myers Sain
This was a spooky, atmospheric, murder mystery that kept me guessing. (Ash)

Rental Person Who Does Nothing by Shoji Morimoto
This is a delightful little memoir from Shoji Morimoto- a Japanese man who started a business where people could “rent” him to do nothing. Need someone to save a spot in line for you? Want someone to sit with you at a restaurant you want to try? Just send him a DM on Twitter/X and he’ll do it-for free! All you have to do is pay for his transportation and food. A short and fascinating look into how we connect to others in an increasingly lonely time. (Liz)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
There’s a reason it’s on most elementary school reading lists! A great read for both children and adults, Wonder hits on every emotion and keeps you guessing what will happen next to Auggie Pullman, a fifth grade student born with a facial difference going to school for the first time. A perfect read for adult English Learners (It was our book group book this winter!), and for anyone who likes a feel-good ending. (Catherine)


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, narrated by Blair Brown
This is a good WWII historical fiction story! It’s told in the form of a letter to the daughter of a man with whom the protagonist has a relationship. 9/10 of the story does not involve this man or relationship but you need the backstory. By the time he enters the story, I had lost track of the initial question: who were you to my father? Despite that description I really enjoyed it. (Deb)

In Search of the Antidote by Fletcher
Fletcher’s latest album is just as intimate and uninhibited as her first. (Ash)

She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She by Chelsea Wolfe (Hoopla streaming)
Words cannot describe how much I love Chelsea Wolfe’s newest album. It’s a dark, emotional album about love and despair with all her usual occult/witchy vibes. Five stars, a must-listen for the goths! (Liz)

Thicker Than Water by Kerry Washington, read by the author
Kerry Washington’s story told from her perspective in her own voice. She is so much more than Olivia Pope in Scandal! (Hazel)

The Women by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan
This historical fiction is set during the Vietnam War focusing on the nurses stationed in Vietnam. It tells the story of three friends who meet in Vietnam and follows their lives after they return home. Excellent! (Seana)

Watch Read Listen: March

We’re warding off the Ides of March with these hot picks.


Anatomy of a Fall (Apple TV+)
Amazing and engrossing film. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Fans of legal dramas will especially enjoy. (Tessa)

Anne With an E (Netflix)
I grew up with Megan Follows and the 1985 series Anne of Green Gables so I felt no need to watch yet another remake (are there literally NO new ideas, Hollywood?!). However, my daughter really wanted me to watch the Netflix series with her and I’m so glad I did. AoGG really is a lovely, charming story and the cast in this version is top notch. It is a delight to watch it with someone meeting Anne for the first time. (Amber)

Pachinko (Apple TV+)
This sweeping eight-episode mini series is based on the book by Min Jin Lee. While not 100% faithful to the book, the series does an incredible job of illuminating the difficulties faced by a family of ethnic Koreans living in Japan from the 1920 through the 1980s. (Janet)

True Detective: Night Country (Max)
This show is dark, literally and figuratively. Set in the fictional town of Ennis, Alaska, this series begins at the start of the days of night. Part crime story, part supernatural, this series is well done and kept me on the edge of my seat. Kali Reis and Jodie Foster deserve all the awards! (Amber)
Check out our Max Roku to watch.

Do I think the world needed a Willy Wonka backstory? No, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this charming film. Would recommend for a family movie night. (Tessa)


The Apple In The Dark by Claire Lispector
Mysterious, utterly atmospheric, beautiful and strange (in the best way), Clarice Lispector’s writing is one of a kind and The Apple in the Dark may be my favorite novel by her yet. Originally published in 1961, New Directions has been coming out with amazing new translations of her work and this is their latest. And, wow, they really know how to nail a book cover- their version of an apple in the dark is everything. Read and see for yourself! (Sue)

Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
Cute, fun, partial ghost story. I always enjoy books set in places I’ve been! (Deb)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Thought-provoking WWII fiction time-warp! (Deb)

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson
Such a great story! Strong, feisty women. Resilient kids. Jerks that get their comeuppance. (Deb)

Modern Crochet Bible: Over 100 Contemporary Crochet Techniques and Stitches by Sarah Shrimpton
Exactly as the title says, a great collection of knowledge for modern crochet. Great for beginners and experts alike with in-depth explanations of technique and tools. Beautiful and functional photography can be found on every page accompanying the techniques and included projects. Especially useful to learn how to read all the different kinds of crochet patterns to get the most out of your project search. (Alanna)

Outlawed by Anna North
So wanted to love this book, which has been accurately described by one reviewer as The Handmaid’s Tale meet Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Despite the very original premise, the plot twists were just too predictable for my taste. (Janet)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I usually avoid books that are more than a few hundred pages long, but am so glad I made an exception for Pachinko. This multi-generational family saga drew me in right away and I tore through all 475 pages in one weekend. A beautifully written novel, Pachinko sheds light on the living conditions and challenges faced by ethnic Koreans in Japanese society in the 20th century. (Janet)

Salt & Broom by Sharon Lynn Fisher
A witchy adaptation of Jane Eyre. Orphaned and raised at Lowood Institution, Jane Aire is now a gifted healer who teaches at the school (Mrs. Reed and family do not make an appearance in this version). She is employed by Mr. Rochester to uncover the mysteries that curse Thornfield Hall. An enjoyable cozy read that is fun to compare with the original novel. (Tessa)


Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
First page: My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me: 1. I’m in a coma. 2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore. 3. Sometimes I lie Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago. Wow. Holy plot twist. Mind-bender! (Deb)

WERS: 88.9
Boston’s Uncommon Radio station is the only radio station I listen to! A great mix of new and old, there is something for everyone on this station. (Amber)

A Window of the Waking Mind by Coheed and Cambria
An epic album from an incredibly talented band. You don’t need to know anything about the band to enjoy this rock album, just be ready for a melodic journey with some killer guitar and some truly phenomenal drums. My personal favorite tracks are The Liars Club and Ladders of Supremacy but there really isn’t a bad song on the album. Check out the rest of Coheed and Cambria while you’re at it, especially if you like bands with a unique sound. (Alanna)

Watch Read Listen: February

It’s a Leap Year, which means an extra day to Watch, Read, or Listen.


All of Us Strangers (currently in theaters)
If you want to have your heart ripped out and leave the theater feeling completely gutted – maybe you just need a really good cry – is this the movie for you! I loved it SO much and I will be thinking about it for a very long time. (Elle)

All The Light We Cannot See (Netflix)
This is one of those times when (dare I say) the adaptation was better than the book! (Elle)

Crabs! (streaming)
A ridiculous horror movie that was fun to watch. The ending song was the best part of the movie. Crabs! (Todd)

Dare Me (Netflix)
Dark drama about tensions among a high school cheer squad after a new coach takes a liking to someone other than the “top girl”. Spoiler alert: this show was canceled after season one so there is NO RESOLUTION! Luckily, there’s a book for that. (Amber)

Tierra Incognita (Disney+)
Two siblings try to discover what happened to their parents in their family-owned horror-themed amusement park. So much happens in less than 20 episodes! It’s all about friends, family, science, and mythology. (Hazel)
Check out our Disney+ Roku to watch.


The Fury by Alex Michaelides
Having loved The Silent Patient and The Maidens, I had really high hopes for this one. Alas, it was not for me. (Elle)

The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
I really enjoyed the author’s 2012 book, Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness so I was eager to read something else by her. The first 2/3 of this new book are super interesting & eye-opening. Chasing down facts got a bit tedious, but the author’s overall point is well-taken. (Deb)

Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen
I liked this new cast of characters from Tess Gerritsen and the setting (partially) in Maine. Pace was good. The mystery & uncertainty of who was trustworthy throughout the story kept you second-guessing pretty-much everyone! Long wait for the next in the series due in March 2025. (Deb)

Unstoppable! My Journey from Olympic Hopeful to Athlete A to 8-Time NCAA Champion and Beyond
by Maggie Nichols
Interesting to hear the story of Maggie Nichols and all the other gymnasts that came forward to change USA Gymnastics for the better and make them take responsibility. Maggie’s story from being a young girl to an NCAA winner is an incredible journey. (Hazel)

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
An enjoyable thriller. Suspenseful story of a Mom who witnesses her son stab a stranger outside their home. She then enters a time loop and tries to prevent the murder. (Todd)


Babel, or, the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang, read by Chris Lew Kum Hoi & Billie Fulford-Brown
Fantastic and gripping speculative fiction set in an alternate 1830s Oxford University where translators are the most powerful people in the vast British Empire. It’s a tale of colonialism, coming of age, and the power of language and listening to it. (Jen)

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Fascinating. I haven’t read a lot about communism. Feels like brain-washing. (Deb)

Red Light by The Slackers
One of my favorite 90s ska bands. Forgot how much I love this album. (Todd)

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen
What an absolute delight! (Elle)

Watch Read Listen: January

A new year of watching, reading, and listening!


Genie (streaming on Peacock)
Melissa McCarthy plays a magic genie set to fix a mans family for Christmas. It is pretty cheesy and I didn’t laugh as much as I regularly do with her movies, but it was an enjoyable feel-good Christmas movie with a solid message. (Elle)

The Marvels (coming to Disney+ in February)
This movie was fun. Not the best Marvel movie, and there were some gaping plot holes and times when the story seemed too rushed, but otherwise it was enjoyable. (Dana)
Check out our Disney+ Roku to watch.

The Villains of Valley View (Disney+)
A family of villains must go into hiding and try to live “normal” lives. A great show for a quick comedy break. They are my new favorite TV family! (Hazel)
Check out our Disney+ Roku to watch.


A Child Called It: One Child’s Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer
Horrifying yet inspirational. (Deb)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Honestly, I read this because it’s short and I was trying to get to my Goodreads Challenge goal. But ultimately I liked it! Cute. Clever, as only Neil Gaiman can be! I love the cat-without-a-name. (Deb)

Goats in the Time of Love: A Martha’s Vineyards Love Story with Goats, a Dog, and Some Recipes by T. Elizabeth Bell
I like to read books that take place in locales I’ve been to and this fits that bill! Cute, enjoyable. Goats are cool. (Deb)

Penance by Eliza Clark
I’m only part way through this book, and I’m still on the fence as to how I feel about it. I don’t usually like stories with unreliable narrators, but the structure of this one is intriguing, and it takes place in Yorkshire which is a bonus. Whether or not it has enough promise to keep me reading remains to be seen. (Dana)

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub
Smart, funny and pitch-perfect–this reimagining of the most troublesome Bennet sister was a terrific read! (Jen)

The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall
I don’t know how this one slipped by me during fall (I guess it is still technically fall, so maybe its still okay), but I have been really enjoying it. There are recipes at the end of each chapter and they sound absolutely delicious! (Elle)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Just as I was starting to think, “this is lame, overdramatic & pretentious…” PLOT TWIST! (Deb)


Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
What a journey in this short-ish memoir about the author’s relationship with her mother. Plus, hearing the author’s voice tell her own story made it very easy to connect to. (Hazel)

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith, narrated by Robert Glenister
I love the Cormoran/Robin dynamic. That’s what keeps me coming back to this series. I can do without the cryptic quotations to begin each chapter. They don’t do anything for me so feel like a waste of time. That was more dramatic in a 1000+ page book that I was hoping I’d finish in 2023. (YAY! I did!) This one was more challenging to LISTEN to than others. Because it’s about an online cartoon and game, a LOT of the dialog is online social media & chat rooms, there was a lot of tedious syntax that needed to be narrated that your eyes would skim through if reading print. It’s also very complex trying to keep track of a high number of characters that all have multiple game personas, twitter handles, etc… not all of which are known to start out. So, if you like a long, complex who-dun-it, I suggest reading this one in print. (Deb)

I’ve Tried Everything But Therapy by Teddy Swims
Even though it’s just the start of 2024, I have no doubt this will make it into my Spotify Wrapped at the end of the year.  (Amber)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
A remix and very digestible version of Ibram X. Kendi’s more robust Stamped From the Beginning. (Deb)

Watch Read Listen: Best of 2023

We’ve rounded up our favorite selections from the past year.


I’m undoubtedly with the majority here – but this movie was so necessary. (Elle)
I haven’t seen a movie in the theater more than once since I was in high school, until this year with Barbie. Such a fun, and yet also deep, film. I can see more viewings of this one in the future! (Dana)

Brian and Charles
This is a sweet story of an oddball who builds himself a cabbage loving robot that becomes his son and best friend. (Liz)

Lost in Paris (Kanopy)
This movie is silly and fun and its main character is a librarian who lives in snowy northern Canada and has always wanted to live in Paris. She gets her wish in a gloriously goofy, roundabout way. (Janet)

Nimona (Netflix)
The BEST animated movie this year! A stunning adaptation of ND Stevenson’s graphic novel, it is an exploration of identity (and transness) that celebrates embracing yourself and fighting for a world that accepts you for who you are. Also, sharks. (Renee)

Past Lives
This movie has it all…suspense, romance, and much insight into what it is like to leave behind your country of birth and those that you loved. (Janet)


Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir by Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog may be best know for having a delightful German accent and a recurring role on the first season of The Mandalorian, but this memoir by one of the greatest directors of all time chronicles not only his films, but his completely bonkers life from a child in the Bavarian mountains to the jungles of South America to a theater in California where he ate his own shoe to a failed meet up by the Wisconsin grave of a serial killer’s mother, and more. (Liz)

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
Looking at my list of books read this year, The Five stands out the most. I’m still blown away at how Rubenhold managed to tell such a compelling story for each woman, given the minimal historical information that can be found for individuals (especially women) who lived in poverty at that time. (Dana)

How To Read Now by Elaine Castillo
What a great perspective on reading and the world. Also, it’s nonfiction by a Filipino author. I want more of that!! (Hazel)

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
One of the best books I’ve read in a decade. (Kelly)

Miss Major Speaks: Conversation with a Black Trans Revolutionary by Toshio Meronek and Miss Major
A punchy, reflective interview-memoir taking you through several seminal events in queer history through Miss Major’s eyes. She provides a sharp insight into fighting for queer liberation today. (Renee)

My Friend Anne Frank: the Inspiring and Heartbreaking True Story of Best Friends Torn Apart and Reunited Against All Odds by Hannah Pick-Goslar
So much to say about this book, written by Anne Frank’s best friend. I was especially touched by the fact that the author reconnected with Otto Frank, Anne’s father, after the War and remained in contact with him until he passed away in 1980. (Janet)

Not On Any Map: One Virgin Island, Two Catastrophic Hurricanes, and the True Meaning of Paradise by Margie Smith Holt (Hoopla)
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: So amazing to read an amazing adventure about a place, in the place, I love & visit often. (Deb)

Princess Floralinda and the Forty Flight Tower by Tamsyn Muir
A delightful, weird, gross, horrifying inversion of fairy tale tropes. When I first read it it didn’t make such a strong impression, but I find myself recommending it to everyone these days! (Renee)

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher
A woman named Mouse travels to rural North Carolina to clean out the house of her recently deceased grandmother. Once there, she uncovers dark secrets relating to her step-grandfather, who believed something unnatural lived in the nearby woods. Unfortunately for her, it’s still there, and it’s got plans for Mouse. Funny and terrifying. (Greg)

What the River Knows by Isabel Ibañez
If Stephen Sommers masterpiece The Mummy (1999) and Agatha Christie’s Death On the Nile had a baby, it would be this. The plot twist had me LIVID, the cliffhanger ending had me FUMING, and all the ancient Egyptian-ness had my globetrotters heart SOARING! Can’t wait for part 2! (Elle)


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, read by Charlie Thurston
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: So engaging from Page 1!! Dickens’s David Copperfield meets 1990’s Appalachia. Reading Dickens isn’t required, but if you have, the parallels are plentiful. (Deb)

Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved by Chris O’Dell, read by Katherine Ketcham
Chris O’Dell is one of the first female assistants and tour managers in the world of rock and roll. A caveat: most of the rockers described here were really badly behaved and I like most of them a lot less than I did before listening to this. Still a very worthwhile listen! The narrator is wonderful. (Janet)

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
I’ve never related so much to a book while also learning so many new things! (Hazel)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, read by Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023: Captivating story telling! One character was so annoying that I physically rolled my eyes every time it was their turn to tell the story. That must be good writing. The culmination of the story centers around real events, making it that much more dramatic. I would tweak two tiny things about the final scenes, but that’s totally nit-picky! (Deb)

So Much (For) Stardust by Fall Out Boy (Hoopla)
Fall Out Boy’s best album since Folie a Deux and my top album by FAR on my Spotify Wrapped. Nostalgic and innovative all at once. (Renee)

Wild Dreams by Westlife (not available in the Minuteman Library Network)
This album was my most-played of the year for the second year running. Once my guilty pleasure listen, I have fully accepted that Westlife are the ~Kings of My Heart~ and this album has some bops. (Dana)

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister, read by Lesley Sharp
One of my four 5-star reviews of 2023 and recommended by my excellent colleague, Dana: SUPER intriguing writing! This story reveals itself backwards, essentially. Only one of my guesses turned out to be true. I love a book that keeps me on my toes! (Deb)

Watch Read Listen: December

We’re ending the year on a high note with these picks.


I watched this movie for the first time three years ago and am now making up for lost time. (Amber)

Pretty Freekin Scary (Disney+)
A girl accidentally gets sent to the Underworld and now has to do tasks for the Grim Reaper (who’s a woman!). But it’s also a comedy and has lots of lovely family and friends moments. (Hazel)
Check out our Disney+ Roku to watch.


Amazing Ace, Awesome Aro by Victoria Barron
A very basic overview of a-spec identities with very fun graphics. I already knew everything in it, but it was still fun to look at. (Hazel)

Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll
Having grown up in the same city as Ted Bundy, I’ll always read anything based on him, even historical fiction. This was an engrossing read, and I was impressed by the author’s understanding of Washington state. (Ash)

The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordan
After a few spinoff series, Rick Riordan finally returns to writing Percy Jackson from Percy’s POV. Great if you loved the original Percy Jackson and the Olympians. (Casey)

Midnight is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead
This was an incredibly atmospheric, southern gothic mystery, and it did not disappoint. (Ash)

Mom Rage: The Everyday Crisis of Modern Motherhood by Minna Dubin
This book made me feel SO SEEN. (Dana)

Out-island Doctor by Evans W. Cottman
First published in 1963, this biography of a teacher who chucks that life to be a medical provider to residents of the far-flung Bahama islands. The trials and tribulations of boats, Caribbean weather and customs are enlightening, humorous and challenging. (Deb)

KooKooLand by Gloria Norris
A memoir written from the perspective of the author as a child, growing up in Manchester, NH under her charismatic, but abusive father in the 1960s/70s. She writes in her voice as a child which I did not like at first, but after a few dozen pages, it was essential to the book. (Todd)

Things in the Basement by Ben Hatke
Ben goes to the basement to get his little sister’s sock and discovers a whole lot more. Creepy and lovely at the same time, from the creator of the Mighty Jack series. (Jen)

This Is Christmas, Song by Song: The Stories Behind 100 Hits by Annie Zaleski
A Christmas Behind The Music starring the songs. (Amber)

A Winter in New York by Josie Silver
I don’t read many romance novels so perhaps I am not the best arbiter, but this cute read checks all the boxes: meet cute, widower who is scared to open up to love again, NYC scenes straight out of a movie set, etc. Romance tropes aside, the plot is original and kept me rooting for a happy ending. (Amber)


Golden by Jung Kook
Jung Kook is the last member of BTS to drop his own solo project and it’s golden. (Casey)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, read by Tim Robbins
I always find a “classic” I missed in school weirder than I expected when I read them as an adult. This was no different. It’s much more stream-of-consciousness, metaphorical and symbolic than I’d have guessed. But I got the point, found it interesting. Best analogy is it’s like the 1953 version of Wall-e. (Deb)

Living in the Fallout by Far From Finished
They were a Boston punk band who haven’t played together in years, but are re-uniting for a few shows at Faces in Malden to celebrate the life of their former bandmate, Paul Christian, who recently passed away. (Todd)

Making It So by Patrick Stewart, read by the author
Patrick Stewart is a much more interesting man than I thought! (Hazel)

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears, read by Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams does an incredible job narrating Britney’s new memoir. This slim volume seems like the CliffsNotes of her life story, but what Britney does share is incredibly sad. I hope she has found a sense of peace and can live the life SHE wants now. (Amber)

Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane, read by Robin Miles
I’m a nerd for local history (spoiler alert!), and have been wanting to read Lehane’s new novel, which centers on the Boston Public Schools’ efforts to desegregate by forcing busing between Southie and Roxbury. I usually have a hard time with audiobooks for various reasons, but figured I’d give this one a try. I think I made it 2 chapters in before giving up…the reader’s performance was a bit grating and her “Southie accent” tended to sound a bit more New Yorkish. I switched to ebook format on this one. (Dana)

Watch Read Listen: November


The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix)
If Succession was made by Edgar Allen Poe. The Usher family is a power clan who have eluded justice in all its forms. That is about to change, however, as someone-or something-begins kill off each member of the family in exceedingly brutal fashion. A fascinating tribute to Poe’s works, but be warned, it is quite gory at times. (Greg)
Mike Flanagan does not disappoint with this modern retelling of Edgar Allen Poe classics. (Ash)

Game Changer (, YouTube)
An awesome game show that asks the question: what if a game show had different rules every time? The first few episodes are free on Youtube, and then the rest are on the Dropout streaming service which I also highly recommend! (Renee)

Party Girl (Kanopy)
Super fun 90s film starring Parker Posey, whose librarian godmother bails her out of jail. Lots of great scenes in the godmother’s old-timey library, complete with card catalogs, stamp machines, and imposing posters of Melvil Dewey. The fashions and dance music are also awesome! (Janet)

V/H/S/85 (Shudder)
The newest installment of the V/H/S found footage shorts series starts is a great way to get some bite sized scares in during the Halloween season. (Liz)
Check out our Shudder Roku to watch.

Yellowstone (Peacock, Paramount+)
Amber sold it to me as “The Sopranos set in Montana”, and boy was she right! Glad I jumped on the bandwagon (finally) because this show is super well done. (Elle)


All-Of-A-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
All-of-a-Kind Family is a children’s book about a family of five American Jewish girls growing up on the Lower East Side of New York City in 1912. First published in 1951, this story of a family of new immigrants feels relevant even today. The girls’ relationship with the local librarian is particularly endearing. (Janet)

Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison
Fans of Netflix’s Sabrina will enjoy this atmospheric gothic tale. (Ash)

The Blood Years by Elena K. Arnold
I’m excited to dive into this historical fiction inspired by the stories the author’s grandmother shared of growing up in war-torn Romania. (Jen)

Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle
Scary and engrossing Halloween read about queer resistance to a cult. Almost to the end and can’t put it down! (Renee)

Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson
There’s Filipino magic, and also wonderful family and friendship connections. Plus it takes place in New England! (Hazel)

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Beautifully written, but heavy content. (Kelly)

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
I went into this knowing absolutely nothing of the story and finished completely dazed. It is so intense, with a conspiracy that runs generations deep, I don’t know how Scorsese is going to cram it all into a 3-hour movie. (Elle)

The September House by Carissa Orlando
Margaret and Hal have bought thier dream house after years of renting. Problem is, it’s haunted. Like, the walls ooze blood type of haunted. Most folks would run towards the hills, but Margaret isn’t most people, and is determined to make this house her home. Even if the walls bleed a little…and dead children roam the halls…and her husband goes missing. Funny, frightening, and heart wrenching. (Greg)

Soup of the Day: 150 Delicious and Comforting Recipes from our Favorite Restaurants by Ellen Brown
It’s soup season! I can’t wait to expand my soup resume with some of the recipes in this book. (Liz)


99% Invisible: Big Dig episode (podcast)
This episode goes back in time to the 1960s roots of the most expensive highway project in American history. So interesting, especially the interviews with the Big Dig’s chief architect: a self-professed hater of highways. (Janet)

Pageboy by Elliot Page
Very interesting to hear about Elliot Page’s journey in his own voice and also very intense! (Hazel)

Pod Meets World (iHeart)
Have early ’90s nostalgia? Revisit episodes of Boy Meets World with members of the cast. (Ash)

Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People by Tracey Kidder, narrated by the author
A really well-written and insightful perspective into the many hurdles unsheltered folks face. (Deb)

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, narrated by Jorgeana Marie, Will Damron, Cassandra Morris, Michael Crouch
Captivating story telling! One character was so annoying that I physically rolled my eyes every time it was their turn to tell the story. That must be good writing. The culmination of the story centers around real events, making it that much more dramatic. I would tweak 2 tiny things about the final scenes, but that’s totally nit-picky! (Deb)

We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, narrated by Orlagh Cassidy
Interesting story of a girl who was raised alongside a chimpanzee as her “twin”. While the writing is a bit convoluted, the story is mostly fun and sometimes really messed up. (Deb)

Watch Read Listen: October


Our Flag Means Death, season 2 (Max)
Our favorite pirates are back this month! (Ash)

Interview with the Vampire (AMC+/Amazon Prime/Max)
This series just got released onto new platforms and it is INCREDIBLE. The acting is amazing and I am hooked, and the second season comes out soon! (Renee)
This series is based on The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, book 1) .

Metal Lords (Netflix)
A fun & endearing coming of age story with Heavy Metal! (Todd)


The City of Incurable Women by Maud Casey
This caught my eye in a colleague’s display! Casey takes photographs and clinical notes from Paris’s Salpetriere hospital – mostly about women who were diagnosed with various types of “hysteria” – and brings the women to life with invented backstories, feelings, and dreams. It read a bit too “literary fiction” for me at times, but was otherwise fascinating. (Dana)

Damned If You Do by Alex Brown
It’s like Buffy but better! It features Filipino monsters, a haunted town, theatre kids, and queer characters. Amazing! (Hazel)

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
All I have to say is: what a plot twist! (Casey)

Everything The Darkness Eats by Eric LaRocca
Set in a peaceful New England town, bizarre disappearances start to take place and secrets start to come out. What lies beneath the idyllic image of the town ends up being truly terrifying. This is one spooky read that I have been anxiously awaiting to read this fall! (Elle)

A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand
We return to the world of Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House with this story, and I’m excited to read it this month. (Ash)

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
An amazing and eye opening story of a woman given a second chance after attempting to take her own life. She enters the midnight library, a sort of purgatory where each book holds a different possibility of a life that may be. Which will she choose? It’s hopeful, tragic and sweet. It will leave you turning the pages and wondering how we too can change the trajectory of our own lives. (Kerry)

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski
I never expected to relate to Emily Ratajkowski, but this book was an in-depth exploration into the struggles women face, how ‘seen’ we feel by the world, and what value we have – all based on our appearance. Reading this shortly after seeing Barbie hurt my soul, but in an inspirational way. (Elle)

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz
Super cute LGBTQ romance. Cheese-themed mistaken identity, fashion shows, and more! (Renee)


Slayers: A Buffyverse Story (Audible)
This audio drama features many of the original cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and takes place 10 years aft the final episode of the television show. I can’t wait to see what is in store! (Ash)

Stiff by Mary Roach, read by Shelly Frasier
Mary Roach is always good for a very down-to-earth, some might say graphic or irreverent, book. From topics like traveling to Mars to Animals in National Parks to this one about the process and effects of death on the human body, she tells it like it is. (Deb)

Talking As Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and everything in between), by Lauren Graham, read by the author
I’m a diehard Gilmore Girls fan (currently rewatching the series for the third time), so it’s surprising that it took me this long to learn about Lauren Graham’s books. The audiobook is narrated by Graham, so it’s almost like she is in the car with me, an old friend telling me funny stories to make the commute less boring. I particularly like the parts when she talks about Gilmore Girls and filming A Year in the Life. If you like Lauren Graham or Gilmore Gilmores, this nostalgic memoir is for you. (Tessa)

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson, read by Michael Kramer
The second book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. Our heroes must navigate the realities of what happens after the overthrow of a tyrannical emperor as they try to reestablish order and stability to the land. An exciting follow-up to the first novel, diving deeper into the nuances of the world that Sanderson has created. Full of action, political intrigue, magic, and suspense. The narration by Michael Kramer is clear, and keeps you hooked as the tale unfolds. (Alanna)

Wow In the World by Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas
A first-grade patron sold me on this great podcast that covers science, technology and news. Check it out! (Jen)

Watch Read Listen: September


The Bear (Hulu)
I’m a little late with this review, but just finished the second season of The Bear which aired on Hulu in June. While it’s listed as a comedy, I would say it leans heavily on drama! The series follows an award winning chef, who returns to his hometown to take over a family restaurant. The acting is excellent, the emotion is palpable, and it leaves you feeling all the anxiety, stress, and excitement that comes with family relationships, and the restaurant business. I highly recommend with the caveat that if you are averse to swearing, this may not be the show for you! (Catherine)
Check out our Hulu Roku to watch.

Before We Die, season one
I watch all the (dark) British detective shows; this one is exceptional. We know going in that the plot involves a murder, and even though I knew the outcome I was still on the edge of my seat through the first episode waiting to see what would happen. (Amber)

Reptile (Netflix)
Benicio Del Toro – that is all you need to know. (Elle)


All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Eh…cute story of a family and what all is happening with its members in light of the death of a lady in a small town where everyone knows each other. (Deb)

Blind Descent by Nevada Barr
Do you like National Parks? What about tight dark spaces? In book six of the Anna Pigeon mystery series, my favorite National Park Service ranger encounters a murderer 800 feet below ground in Lechuguilla Cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It just so happened that I read this book the month before my first caving experience, and I greatly enjoyed learning about caving terminology, tools, and techniques that cavers use. However, Anna’s fear of caving began to rub off me! As always, author Nevada Barr writes another exciting mystery. For additional fun, might I suggest pairing this book with a documentary about caves, such as Journey into Amazing Caves or Mysterious Life of Caves. (Tessa)

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake
i love love love Ashley Herring Blake, but i also dislike romcoms, and i think my dislike of romcomcs was too powerful for me to like this very much. There were hints of how great she can write characters, but most of it feel flat. (Ash)

I Feed Her To The Beast And The Beast Is Me by Jamison Shea
Absolutely wild paranormal horror. A Black, queer ballerina makes a deal with an ancient demon blood river for power and reputation. (Renee)

Joe vs. Elan School (web comic)
A terrifying account of a Teen who was sent/kidnapped to a Elan School, a school for troubled teens in Maine. Joe’s story is one of physical & mental abuse, and how he attempts to get though the experience and live his life. (Todd)

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
Eh. No 17yo guy is as emotionally aware as Holder. Too many secrets for too much of the book. I think publishers went back and re-released her works from before It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us and the earlier works just aren’t as good. Ok, though. (Deb)

One of Us Is Back by Karen McManus
I enjoyed the previous two books in this trilogy, and was initially so disappointed with this, the newly released third book. Had I read the previous two more recently it might have been better, but there were so many characters and allusions to the other books that I felt a bit lost in the weeds. It improved, though! I ended up liking this one almost as much as the others. (Dana)

Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow
Funny, sad, and surprising–I was rooting for middle-schooler Simon and his whole town! (Jen)

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
Looking for a long weekend read, I picked this up on a whim and ended up hooked! It’s a murder mystery, with some great twists and a very unique plot line. The main character wakes up each morning and it is the previous day, creating a plot that goes back in time in order to solve a crime in her current time. While initially I thought this would be confusing, the author does a great job setting it up, and it was really fun to read! (Catherine)


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, read by Charlie Thurston
So engaging from Page 1!! Dickens’s David Copperfield meets 1990’s Appalachia. Reading Dickens isn’t required, but if you have, the parallels are plentiful. Could not wait to get back in the car & keep listening! I don’t have many 5-star reviews in 2023, so I’m grateful for this one! (Deb)

Layover by V
V’s (BTS) solo debut album is here! Contains more jazz and R&B than you’re probably expecting. (Casey)

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Excitedly awaiting season three – book four of the Bridgerton series is (in my opinion) the best one! Absolutely love the story of Penelope and Colin!! Although, sadly, I don’t think the series will hold true to the book based on the season synopsis. Hopefully we’ll see come December! (Elle)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, read by Jennifer Kim and Julian Cihi
Not knowing anything about gaming, I wasn’t sure if this would resonate with me, but it was a really nice story. The characters were flawed but likeable and I came to care about what would happen next. (Deb)

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